Supportive Team Management – Dealing with Stress

A lot of workers are complaining about stress at work. I’m not completely sure why. It could be a result of smaller teams having to deal with more complex projects. This often means an individual has to manage responsibilities that aren’t always in their area of expertise or require learning new skills. Naturally, this can be a source of anxiety which contributes to feelings of stress.

Can’t keep up
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Write it down

My boss once told me “The faintest pencil is stronger than the sharpest memory.” The human brain is a very powerful supercomputer. Not once does it stop working throughout your life. Every second, the brain processes a lot of information and controls many things you are not even aware of such as heart rate. Latest estimates suggest the brain has up to 2.5 petabytes (Google it) of storage space. Despite possessing this unfathomable amount of memory, the brain is not good at keeping ideas.

I’d trust one over my brain every day
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Downsize. Delegate. Delete.

I have observed that when people are informed they are not productive, the natural tendency is for them to take on more tasks almost as if they felt by showing they could complete a lot more tasks, they will be seen as productive team members. In a way, they are right. Productive people do complete tasks. However, they do NOT try to do everything. It may seem counterintuitive but sometimes the best way to become more productive is to do less. An Accountant doesn’t try to design the company website by themselves. They know that is not the most productive use of their time and skills.

Less is more
Wouldn’t you agree?
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Emails: A productivity Death trap

First do what is important, then everything else. This could be a maxim for personal productivity. People who prioritise tasks and focus on those that yield the most results (which by definition, are important) are said to be productive. A question for you: Is responding to emails immediately an important task? According to a Mckinsey report, the average professional spends 28% of their work day reading and responding to emails. If you work 8 hours a day, that’s 2 hours dedicated to your inbox. Is that the best use of your time?

Email envelopes
There’s such a thing as too many emails
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Do productive people behave differently?

Some people have a natural flair for task management and organisation. Others had the good luck of starting their careers in organisations where supportive bosses showed them how to become more productive. Regardless, how you started your personal productivity journey, it is interesting to know that while productive people come from all walks of life and have different personalities, they all tend to have behaviours that make them more productive than others. Productive people tend to:

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Treat the root cause, not the symptom

When we fall sick, we go to a hospital. Doctors ask questions to understand how we feel and based on our symptoms, they make a judgment and recommend a course of treatment. Doctors never try to treat symptoms though. Instead, they treat the root cause: the disease. If you complain of a persistent headache, the doctor doesn’t give you a painkiller and send you on your way. This is because they understand there are many things that can give you a headache. They try to find out what that thing is so they can cure you.

Tree with deep roots
The true problem might lie deeper than you’re looking
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Failure is always a possibility

And they all lived happily ever after. Thus ended many a fairytale. As children, we enjoyed those tales (Although I sometimes wondered what that statement meant). In reality, no one ever lives happily ever after. We have good and bad days. There are days when we succeed in our attempts. There are also those when despite out best efforts (or lack of them), we will fail at something. Being able to deal with failure is an important skill. Fortunately, it is one we can all learn.

Fai
It’s not the end
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Squeezed into action

Suppose you had a number of tasks on your to-do list but can’t seem to get started on any of them. You know these tasks are important. That’s why you wrote them down in the first place. These are tasks you can’t delegate. The responsibility for getting them done rests with you. What’s one thing you can add to your to-do list to boost your chances of getting those tasks done? A time constraint.

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You’re never too important to sleep

It has become a cliché to start a personal productivity article with the words “Everyone has 24 hours a day.” Beyond time, however, there is also another resource that affects your productivity and of which you also have finite resources. I’m talking about ENERGY. We all have limited reserves of energy that we can draw upon each day. Some have more than others. Others can trick their body into waking up when they’d rather go back to sleep by drinking coffee. Drinking coffee (or worse, energy drinks) on a regular basis will only provide temporary relief.

Need a few more hours?
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Do you have an hour?

A lot of people would like to achieve more each day. They want to do things like building a new habit, starting a new project or writing a blog. Most people say they can’t find time to get started on their goals. Surprisingly, the same set of people somehow find two hours each day to watch funny videos.

People underestimate how much they could achieve in a year if they dedicated just one hour a day to work on a goal. How do productive people find time to do the things that matter?

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